4 January 2017
This article is part of our member profile series. Our members tell us that one of the things they love about being part of our community is getting to know like-minded women. So, each month, we’ll feature an interview with a member, so you can get to know each other a little better. This month, meet Carina Zeccola.
I am a born and bred Canberra local, with an extended Italian migrant family. I studied law and actuarial studies at the Australian National University and have worked in private practice as a lawyer at Griffin Legal since 2013.
I love to bake and to travel (usually to escape the Canberra winters, which I am surprisingly not acclimatised to!).
I am unable to sit still for long, which probably explains why I am currently undertaking coursework for my fifth qualification in four years. I am a strong advocate of lifelong learning.
Why did you join the Y?
I have been involved in several not-for-profit and community organisations since high school. I first heard about YWCA Canberra through a colleague at work and attended an event. The values and mission of the Y to support women and girls in such diverse ways really resonated with me as a young woman. The Y supports women in crisis in the community, as well as women of all ages with their personal and professional development. The Y recognises the importance of providing opportunity to women who are disadvantaged because of gender inequality.
Women need to support and develop other women; it is by doing this that we will achieve gender equality and naturally develop a network of people that women can rely upon to achieve their goals by sharing their experiences and challenges.
I graduated from the YWCA Canberra She Leads Diploma of Leadership & Management in 2016, which contributed to my development in both my professional career and on a personal level. It is a program which I cannot recommend strongly enough to any young woman wanting to discover and develop their leadership and management style.
What’s the change you want to see in the world?
A greater sense of community. A community is often founded on a mutual purpose, responsibility, respect and commitment, providing individuals with a meaning. It is vital that every individual is part of community offering a support network and others to rely on. Everyone has skills and qualities to offer which should be celebrated and shared.
Emphasis on community can reduce instances of isolation and in turn benefit some of those suffering in our community. Greater focus on community may also encourage respect between different cultures to reduce instances of prejudice, racism and social conflict.
Who inspires you?
I come from a family with a lot of strong and inspiring women. I joke that I grew up with five mothers: my mum, my grandmother and three aunties. Having such strong female role models in my life really inspired me to achieve my goals and push the boundaries.
My grandmother was unable to complete her schooling, so she encouraged all her grandchildren, and in particular her granddaughters, to take all opportunities and to be grateful for the opportunities presented to them.
My mum went back and studied law as her second degree when her kids were in high school. I was raised to believe that I can achieve my goals by working hard and having focus.
Become a member of YWCA Canberra here.